Unbreakable (film series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Blu-ray box set of the trilogy
Directed byM. Night Shyamalan
Written byM. Night Shyamalan
Produced by
CinematographyEduardo Serra (1)
Michael Gioulakis (2, 3)
Edited byDylan Tichenor (1)
Luke Ciarrocchi (2, 3)
Blu Murray (3)
Music byJames Newton Howard (1)
West Dylan Thordson (2, 3)
Blinding Edge Pictures
Touchstone Pictures (1)
Barry Mendel Productions (1)
Limited Edition Productions Inc. (1)
Blumhouse Productions (2, 3)
Perfect World Pictures (3)
Distributed by
Release date
Running time
351 minutes
Budget$104 million (Total 3 films)
Box office$773.6 million (Total 3 films)

The Unbreakable trilogy,[1] also known as the Eastrail 177 Trilogy, is an American superhero thriller and psychological horror film series.[2] The films were written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The trilogy consists of Unbreakable (2000), Split (2016), and Glass (2019).

The entire franchise features the character David Dunn. The series has been noted for its differences from more traditional superhero films, with Shyamalan's work referred to as "the first auteur shared superhero universe". It is the first superhero franchise that is written and directed by one person, in comparison to other popular films in the genre.[3] Shyamalan has noted that while it is based on comic book superheroes, and refers to comic books, it is not actually derived from comic book material itself.[4] In contrast to most superhero films, the series is also generally grounded in reality,[5] and is seen as a deconstruction of the superhero genre.[6] The series is thus considered to be a unique take on the superhero genre.[7]

The filmmaker has stated that the films are origin stories of people with unique gifts, with the intent being to acknowledge that every person has something special about them. Unbreakable has been labeled the first grounded superhero film,[8] while Split has been called the first solo supervillain origin story,[9] and Hollywood's first stealth sequel.[10][11]


The series originated with the film Unbreakable, directed by Shyamalan and released in 2000. When M. Night Shyamalan conceived the idea for Unbreakable, the outline had a comic book's traditional three-part structure (the superhero's "birth", his struggles against general evil-doers, and the hero's ultimate battle against the "archenemy"). Finding the birth section most interesting, he decided to write Unbreakable as an origin story.[12] At the time, comic book themed superhero films were niche, so the film was marketed as a psychological thriller like Shyamalan's breakout film The Sixth Sense, rather than as a superhero film. According to Shyamalan, "I was on a conference call with the studio, and they were saying we can't mention the word 'comic books' or 'superheroes' because it's too fringe".[13]

Upon release in 2000, Bruce Willis revealed that Unbreakable was the first part of a planned trilogy.[14] Both Willis and Samuel L. Jackson pushed for a sequel or trilogy, with Willis stating "It's really built as a trilogy," but Shyamalan expressed uncertainty and said, "I can't tell you anything about them." Whether the film had a sequel depended upon how it would perform at the box office.[15] While Unbreakable was a moderate box office success, grossing $248 million worldwide on a $75 million budget,[16] it performed below expectations, earning about a third of what The Sixth Sense grossed.[13] Unbreakable gained more popularity over time and subsequently developed a cult following,[17] as the audience for comic book superhero films grew over time.[13] Out of Shyamalan's career, some have referred to Unbreakable as his best work. In terms of superhero films, it was listed in Time's list of "Top 10 Superhero Films" of all time, ranked at number four.[18] Quentin Tarantino also included Unbreakable on his list of top 20 films released since 1992.[19]

The second film Split originated from the character of Kevin who had been in one of the early drafts of Unbreakable, but Shyamalan had pulled the character out, stating there were balancing issues at that time. With Split, he brought in some of the scenes he had written for Unbreakable around Kevin.[20] Split became a box office success, with over 2,000% return on investment (ROI), making it the most profitable film of 2017,[21] paving the way for a third film.[22] While Shyamalan has stated that he is usually not a fan of making sequels,[23] the stars of the first film, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, had asked him to consider making a sequel. Shyamalan has said he plans on a trilogy, with the third film, Glass, released in 2019, being the last, but may continue making more if the inspiration for writing the material is there.[23]


Unbreakable (2000)[edit]

David Dunn is the sole survivor of a devastating train wreck. Elijah Price is a mysterious stranger who offers a bizarre explanation as to why Dunn escaped without a single scratch, an explanation which threatens to change Dunn's family and his life forever.

During filming for The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan approached Bruce Willis for the role of David Dunn. Sometime after, Samuel L. Jackson and Willis were announced to be the two leads of the film. Prior to the film's production, Jackson met with Willis discussing the script. Principal photography began April 25, 2000, and finished in June the same year.

Split (2016)[edit]

Kevin Wendell Crumb has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Karen Fletcher, although there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all of the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the wilful, observant Casey Cooke, Crumb reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him, as well as everyone around him, as the walls between his compartments shatter.

In October 2015, James McAvoy was cast as the film's primary antagonist, Kevin Wendell Crumb. Originally, Joaquin Phoenix was cast for the role. The same month, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Jessica Sula, and Haley Lu Richardson were cast in the film. Following cast announcements, Universal Pictures revealed the film's title as Split. Principal photography began in November 2015 and finished in June 2016.

Glass (2019)[edit]

Following the events of Split, security guard David Dunn uses his superstrength and supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb. As Dunn and Crumb engage in a series of escalating encounters, Elijah Price orchestrates everything from the background, all the while holding secrets critical to both men.

Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard, James McAvoy, and Anya Taylor-Joy reprise their roles from Unbreakable and Split.[24] In July 2017, Sarah Paulson was cast as a new character revealed to be Dr. Ellie Staple.[25] In November, Adam David Thompson was cast in an undisclosed role.[26] Principal photography began in October and finished in December 2017.[27]


Although the series was conceived as a trilogy, Shyamalan mentioned that he was open to a continuation if the inspiration came to him.[23] However, on January 8, 2019, he officially confirmed that no sequels are currently planned, saying he has no interest in building a cinematic universe.[28]

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Story by Producer(s)
Unbreakable November 22, 2000 (2000-11-22) M. Night Shyamalan Sam Mercer, Barry Mendel & M. Night Shyamalan
Split January 20, 2017 (2017-01-20) Jason Blum, Marc Bienstock & M. Night Shyamalan
Glass January 18, 2019 (2019-01-18) Jason Blum, Ashwin Rajan, Marc Bienstock & M. Night Shyamalan


While the three movies are superhero films, in that unrealistic "super" powers are featured, Shyamalan notes that one of the main themes of the movies is that there are extraordinary powers in everyone.[23] He also notes that rather than being a "comic book movie" each of them is a movie about comic books.[23] While the movies are connected, each has a separate style. Unbreakable is a mystery film, regarding a man who is the sole survivor of a catastrophic train crash. Split is a horror movie, exploring the origin story of a supervillain, while Shyamalan has stated that Glass would have a different thematic feel as well.[23] Producer Jason Blum has referred to them as "superhero movies", noting that they are very different from Marvel Studios' films.[2]

Cast and crew[edit]


List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the character has not appeared in that medium.
  • A V indicates a voice-only role.
  • A Y indicates an appearance as a younger version of a pre-existing character.
  • A A indicates a role appears from an archived footage or stills.
  • A P indicates an appearance in onscreen photographs only.
  • A C indicates a cameo appearance.
Character Unbreakable Split Glass
2000 2016 2019
David Dunn
The Protector
The Green Guard
The Overseer

Davis DuffieldY
Bruce WillisC Bruce
Colin BeckerY
Kevin Wendell Crumb
The Collective
The Horde
Joey HazinskyC[29] James McAvoy James McAvoy
Owen VitulloY
Elijah Price
The Mastermind
Mr. Glass
Samuel L. Jackson
Johnny Hiram JamisonY
Mentioned Samuel L. Jackson
Johnny Hiram JamisonYP
William TurnerY
Jai M. Night ShyamalanC
Penelope Crumb Dianne Cotten MurphyC[30] Rosemary HowardC
Joseph Dunn Spencer Treat Clark Spencer Treat Clark
Mrs. Price Charlayne Woodard Charlayne Woodard
Audrey Dunn Robin Wright Penn
Laura ReganY
Robin WrightA
Woman on Train
Leslie Stefanson Leslie StefansonA
Train Engineer Marc H. Glick Marc H. GlickA
Dr. Dubin Michael Kelly
Dr. Mathison Eamonn Walker
The Orange Man Chance Kelly
Casey Cooke Anya Taylor-Joy
Izzie CoffeyY
Anya Taylor-Joy
Dr. Karen Fletcher Betty Buckley Mentioned
Claire Haley Lu Richardson
Marcia Jessica Sula
John Cooke Brad William Henke
Mr. Cooke Sebastian Arcelus
Dr. Ellie Staple Mentioned Sarah Paulson
Clarence Wendell Crumb Bryan McElroy
Daryl Adam David Thompson
Pierce Luke Kirby[31]

Additional crew and production details[edit]

Film Composer(s) Editor Cinematographer Production companies Distributor(s) Running time
Unbreakable James Newton Howard Dylan Tichenor Eduardo Serra Touchstone Pictures
Blinding Edge Pictures
Barry Mendel Productions
Limited Edition Productions Inc.
Buena Vista Pictures 106 minutes
Split West Dylan Thordson Luke Franco Ciarrocchi Mike Gioulakis Blumhouse Productions
Blinding Edge Pictures
Universal Pictures 117 minutes
Glass Blu Murray
Luke Franco Ciarrocchi
Blumhouse Productions
Blinding Edge Pictures
Buena Vista International
Universal Pictures
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
128 minutes


Box office performance[edit]

Unbreakable was a moderate box office success, grossing $248.1 million in ticket sales on a $75 million budget,[16] but there was minimal profit and it performed below expectations, earning about a third of what The Sixth Sense grossed.[13] Unbreakable underperformed at the box office due to several reasons, primarily because many people expected it to be a similar film to Shyamalan's smash success psychological horror film, The Sixth Sense, which it was not.

Split grossed $278 million against a $9 million budget, becoming a surprise box office success.[32] Split became a box office success, with over 2,000% return on investment (ROI), making it the most profitable film of 2017 and one of the most profitable films of all time.[21]

Film U.S. release date US gross International gross Worldwide gross Budget References
Unbreakable November 22, 2000 $95,011,339 $153,106,782 $248,118,121 $75 million [16]
Split January 20, 2017 $138,291,365 $140,162,993 $278,454,358 $9 million [33]
Glass January 18, 2019 $111,048,468 $135,950,571 $246,999,039 $20 million [34]
Total $344,351,172 $429,220,346 $773,571,518 $104 million [35]

Critical reception[edit]

Film Critical Public
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore[36]
Unbreakable 70% (174 reviews)[37] 62 (31 reviews)[38] C
Split 77% (309 reviews)[39] 62 (48 reviews)[40] B+
Glass 36% (404 reviews)[41] 43 (53 reviews)[42] B


Film Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result References
Unbreakable Saturn Award June 12, 2001 Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film Nominated [43]
Black Reel Award February 12, 2001 Best Film Poster Nominated [44]
Golden Trailer Award 2001 Best Horror/Thriller Film Won [45]
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards April 10, 2001 Favorite Actor - Suspense Bruce Willis Nominated [46]
Samuel L. Jackson Nominated
Favorite Supporting Actor - Suspense Spencer Treat Clark Nominated
Favorite Supporting Actress - Suspense Robin Wright Penn Nominated
Bram Stoker Award 2001 Best Screenplay M. Night Shayamalan Nominated [47]
Nebula Award April 28, 2001 Best Script Nominated [48]
International Horror Guild Award September 1, 2001 Best Film Nominated [49]
Split London Film Critics' Circle January 22, 2017 Young British/Irish Performer of the Year Anya Taylor-Joy (also for Morgan and The Witch) Nominated [50]
MTV Movie & TV Awards May 7, 2017 Best Actor in a Movie James McAvoy Nominated [51]
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Thriller Film Split Nominated [52]
Best Supporting Actress Betty Buckley Nominated
Teen Choice Awards August 13, 2017 Choice Movie: Villain James McAvoy Nominated [53]
San Diego Film Critics Society December 11, 2017 Best Actor James McAvoy Won [54]
Seattle Film Critics Society December 18, 2017 Villain of the Year James McAvoy (as Dennis & The Horde) Won [56]
Casting Society of America January 18, 2018 Studio or Independent – Drama Douglas Aibel, Diane Heery, Jason Loftus and Henry Russell Bergstein Nominated [57]
Empire Awards March 18, 2018 Best Horror Split Nominated [58]


  1. ^ Cox, James "Details emerge about the sequel to Split, 'Glass'", Buzz, April 27, 2018
    - Busch, Caitlin, "Samuel L. Jackson Has Finished the 'Split' Sequel, But It's Not Over Yet", Inverse, November 20, 2017
    - Murray, Emily "Split Sequel Footage Debuts At CinemaCon", Unilad (no date)
    - "Toni Collette wont be popping up in M Night Shyalamans Glass Movie Exclusive", Yahoo Movie News
  2. ^ a b McCreesh, Louise (14 September 2017). "Split and Unbreakable sequel Glass Is a "superhero movie", confirms producer Jason Blum – But what does this mean in terms of plot?". Digitalspy.com. Digital Spy. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  3. ^ McMillan, Graeme (April 26, 2017). "Glass M Night Shyamalans Split Unbreakable Sequel Could Redefine Superheroes". hollywoodreporter.com. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  4. ^ Elderkin, Beth (September 22, 2017). "Unbreakable and Split Stars Will Return for M Night Shyamalans Superhero Sequel, Glass". gizmodo/com.au. Gizmodo. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  5. ^ "Glass Is Setting Itself Up As An Anti-MCU". Screen Rant. July 21, 2018.
  6. ^ "'Glass' Looks Like M. Night Shyamalan's Most Complex Film Yet". The Hollywood Reporter. July 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Placido, Dani Di (July 21, 2018). "M. Night Shyamalan's Cinematic Universe Is Truly Unique". Forbes.
  8. ^ Squires, John (2019-01-10). "M. Night Shyamalan's 'Unbreakable': The Original (and Arguably Best) Grounded in Reality Superhero Movie". Bloody Disgusting!. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  9. ^ Francisco, Eric (January 23, 2017). "Split Twist Ending M Night Shyamalan God Damn Unbreakable is Back". Inverse. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  10. ^ "How 'Glass' Star Anya Taylor-Joy Got a Film School Education on Set". The Hollywood Reporter. January 15, 2019.
  11. ^ Hiatt, Brian (2018-12-20). "The Fall and Rise of M. Night Shyamalan". Rolling Stone.
  12. ^ M. Night Shyamalan, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Barry Mendel, Sam Mercer, Eduardo Serra, James Newton Howard, The Making of Unbreakable, 2001, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  13. ^ a b c d "'Glass' Is the Movie M. Night Shyamalan Wanted to Make For Comics Fans". Wired. July 20, 2018.
  14. ^ "UNBREAKABLE is part one of a planned trilogy!!!". Ain't It Cool News. November 23, 2000.
  15. ^ "M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable". Entertainment Weekly. December 1, 2000.
  16. ^ a b c "Unbreakable". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  17. ^ "Unbreakable - An Oral History". Entertainment Weekly. July 10, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  18. ^ Cruz, Gilbert (June 3, 2011). "Top 10 Superhero Movies: 4. Unbreakable (2000)". Time. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  19. ^ "Tarantino's Top 20 Movies Since 1992". Spike (TV channel). Archived from the original on August 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  20. ^ Couch, Aaron (January 22, 2017). "'Split': M. Night Shyamalan Explains an Ending Years in the Making". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  21. ^ a b "Movie Budgets, Most Expensive Movies, Most Profitable Movies, Biggest Money-Losing Movies". The Numbers. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  22. ^ "Will M. Night Shyamalan Cement His Comeback With 'Glass'?". The New York Observer. July 24, 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d e f Fletcher, Rosie (January 20, 2017). "M Night Shyamalan Unbreakable 2 Split Universe – Is It Going to be a Trilogy?". Digital Spy. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  24. ^ "M. Night Shyamalan's 'Glass' Adds 'Unbreakable' Actors (Exclusive)". hollywoodreporter. September 21, 2017.
  25. ^ "Sarah Paulson Joins M. Night Shyamalan Thriller 'Glass'". hollywoodreporter. July 24, 2017.
  26. ^ "Adam David Thompson Joins the Cast of M. Night Shyamalan's 'Glass'". bloody-disgusting. November 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "M. Night Shyamalan's Glass Starts Production". Screen Rant. October 2, 2017.
    - "M. Night Shyamalan's Glass Wraps Filming". Screen Rant. December 4, 2017.
  28. ^ Sharf, Zack (2019-01-08). "M. Night Shyamalan says no to Glass sequels, originally wrote "The Horde" from Split into Unbreakable". IndieWire. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  29. ^ "— November 2018 — "Rule of Crumb" — JF". Total Film. November 9, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  30. ^ "— November 2018 — "Rule of Crumb" — JF". Total Film. November 9, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  31. ^ Billington, Alex (December 11, 2018). "Who's the Real Villain? Full International Trailer for Shyamalan's 'Glass'". First Showing. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  32. ^ McNary, Dave (April 26, 2017). "M Night Shyamalan Glass Split Unbreakable Sequel". Variety. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  33. ^ "Split (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  34. ^ "Glass (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  35. ^ "Unbreakable Film Series at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on June 10, 2018. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  36. ^ "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  37. ^ "Unbreakable". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 6, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  38. ^ "Unbreakable". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  39. ^ "Split". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 10, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  40. ^ "Split". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  41. ^ "Glass". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 10, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  42. ^ "Glass". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  43. ^ "Sci-fi Noms". ABC News. February 1, 2002. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  44. ^ "History". Black Reel Awards. Archived from the original on 20 February 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  45. ^ "GTA2 Nominees (2001)". Golden Trailer. Golden Trailer Awards. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  46. ^ "Nominees Announced for 'Sixth Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards(R)' To Air in June on FOX". PR Newswire. February 8, 2000. Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  47. ^ "Horror Writers Association - The Bram Stoker Awards". Horror.org. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  48. ^ "Nebula Awards Nominees and Winners: Best Script". nebulas.sfwa.org. Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  49. ^ "IHG Award Recipients". horroraward.org. International Horror Guild. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  50. ^ Lodge, Guy (December 20, 2016). "'Moonlight' and 'Love and Friendship' Lead London Film Critics' Circle Nominations". Variety. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  51. ^ "Here Are Your 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards Nominations: See The Full List". MTV News. Archived from the original on May 1, 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-08.
  52. ^ McNary, Dave (March 2, 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  53. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (August 13, 2017). "Teen Choice Awards 2017 Winners: 'Wonder Woman', 'Beauty And The Beast', 'Riverdale' Among Honorees". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  54. ^ "2017 San Diego Film Critics Society's Award Nominations". San Diego Film Critics Society. December 9, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  55. ^ "2017 San Diego Film Critics Society Award Winners". San Diego Film Critics Society. December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  56. ^ "'Blade Runner 2049' Leads the 2017 Seattle Film Critics Society Nominations". Seattle Film Critics Society. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  57. ^ Ford, Rebecca (January 2, 2018). "Artios Awards: Casting Society Reveals Film Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  58. ^ Ruby, Jennifer (January 19, 2018). "Empire Film Awards 2018: The Last Jedi leads the pack with nine nominations including Best Actress for Daisy Ridley". London Evening Standard. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  59. ^ Ritman, Alex (January 22, 2018). "'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Leads Nominations for U.K.'s Empire Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 29, 2018.

External links[edit]